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FREE AGENT Running Backs 2010...

Discussion in 'NFL Draft' started by scratchnz, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. scratchnz
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    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    ...according to 'Footballfutures' By: Roshan Bhagat

    Ronnie Brown, Miami Dolphins (28) – Restricted FA
    Ronnie Brown had been the key to the Dolphins offense which had run through him and the Wildcat. Prior to his second season-ending injury in three years (foot this year), Brown had returned to form to look like one of the league’s more talented backs. Brown’s combination of size, wiggle, instincts, and speed is elite. His top-end production and efficiency (4.4 average, 8 touchdowns) prior to the injury would have been enough incentive for Miami to extend Brown for another 3-4 years. However, now the Dolphins will likely wait to see if his contract expires this year and work from there. He’s most likely to miss OTA’s next summer, but will be ready for the start of the 2010 season. Keep in mind Brown has an interesting option built into his contract. If the owners and the NFL Players Association reach a new deal before the deadline, a $5 million 2010 option will kick in taking him off the market, but otherwise Brown will become a Restricted Free Agent.

    Pierre Thomas, New Orleans Saints (25) – Restricted FA
    After returning from injury that cost him a couple early games, Thomas has continued to be an effective and efficient part time runner for the Saints. Though he’s only logged 5 official starts and split time with Mike Bell, he’s a perfect fit for the Saints offense because of his hands, vision, and cutting ability. On 15 touches, Thomas averages 5.7 yards per play with 7 total touchdowns in 11 games. He’s a nice compliment to Mike Bell, Brees, and the passing game. With a rumor looming of Reggie Bush’s departure this offseason due to an enormous cap number, the Saints should have more than enough money to re-sign the one time starter over Rashard Mendenhall at Illinois to a long deal. If talks fall through, the Saints will have the ability to offer him a restricted tender in which the Saints will at least have the option between matching or receiving heavy compensation if another team shows heavy interest.


    Cadillac Williams, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (28)
    Like his college teammate Ronnie Brown, Cadillac Williams has had a rebirth of sorts after a couple injury-plagued seasons. He’s reclaimed the starting gig in Tampa Bay and done about as well as you can expect in Tampa while sharing carries in a deep backfield. If he can make it through the year healthy, the Buccaneers should look to re-sign him to a mid-level contract, with plenty of cap space available. He has played a lot better than his volume production indicates because the offense has been unable to stay on the field for extended periods. Looking at his career numbers, he excels as the game rolls into the third quarter and beyond, particularly on carries 11 to 15. He’s reached that upper bound only four times this season. If the Bucs can generate continuity on offense and have the ability to remain balanced, Williams’ numbers should also increase.

    Darren Sproles, San Diego Chargers (27)
    It’s very difficult to measure the importance of Darren Sproles because his greatest value isn’t as a traditional runner. With Tomlinson also struggling to get the running game moving, Sproles’ lack of success pounding the ball can be partially attributed to a below average run blocking unit. Still, Sproles is best when put on a touch count and given most of his work on screens and the return game. He won’t make $6.6 million a year, like he’s making on his franchise tender, but will get a good mid-level contract rewarding him for his explosiveness and unique contributions. Sproles is one of the league’s best back-up or change-of-pace backs. As an unrestricted free agent, I have the hunch that other teams will overpay for his services, while the Chargers will rely on their history of drafting successful running backs to keep the running game alive. It could be fullback Mike Tolbert who sees his share of touches increase.

    Mike Bell, New Orleans Saints (27)
    Splitting time with Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell has been an effective inside power-runner for the Saints as he was for the Broncos in his rookie season. Both Bell and Thomas provide a simple, but effective running game. If New Orleans unloads Reggie Bush’s $13.5 million cap charge by next season, they’ll have plenty of room to return Bell and Thomas, back to The Big Easy, while still having plenty of money left over.

    LenDale White, Tennessee Titans (25)
    With the explosion of Chris Johnson as the league’s best running back this season, White has seen his carries scaled back big time. Over the last 5 games, White has been given a total of 11 carries, less than his average per game last year. According to the Nashville Tennessean, White has gone on the record saying, “I don’t want to sit here and play backup to nobody. I refuse. I don’t want to.” This is a good sign that White is as good as gone next year, putting a decent goal line, power back on the market. It’s his attitude and questionable work ethic that potential suitors will have to explore.


    Leon Washington, New York Jets (28)
    It’s always unfortunate to see any player get injured, but it’s all the more painful to see them go down on a contract year. The broken leg should heal in a couple months, but it will most likely eat into what could have been a big payday. Washington is similar to Sproles, but a better pure runner. Washington has the speed to turn the corner and be the great complementary back. He has added value as a kick returner where he’s among the NFL’s most feared. This summer, he turned down a number of contract offers in hopes of a huge payday in free agency, so we’ll see if he drops his asking price. If his asking price remains high, he would also risk playing for just a Restricted Free Agent contract if a new CBA isn’t reached.

    Jerious Norwood, Atlanta Falcons (27)
    Norwood has been largely unproductive this season thanks to injuries, but returned to the field in Week 12. With Michael Turner also battling some injuries, Norwood should get the opportunity to display his talents despite a productive Jason Snelling also pleading his case. Norwood can’t be counted on as an every down back, but will sign a contract indicative of his role as it’s been in Atlanta. He’s a back-up with plenty speed to put a scare into defenses.

    Chester Taylor, Minnesota Vikings (30)
    Running behind Adrian Peterson, Taylor hasn’t gotten nearly the amount of touches he could be elsewhere. You do have to tip your hat to the Vikings coaching staff though for using him to the best of his abilities. His rushing numbers are the worst of his career, but his true value comes as a 3rd down back and in his ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Even with his age, Taylor will continue to be an effective back for several years in a Kevin Faulk type role. If the Vikings don’t try hard to retain him, he could move to another contender and have success elsewhere. Taylor appears to be peaking at just the right time, averaging 6.1 yards per carry over the last four weeks.

    Willie Parker, Pittsburgh Steelers (29)
    Since being sidelined in Week 4, Parker has averaged only 4 carries per game in 7 games since. The run game now belongs to first-round pick Rashard Mendenhall who has done a great job since being given the starting job. Parker has been virtually non-existent and unproductive this season. After this season, there won’t be much interest in Parker, but the Steelers may be willing to keep him around on an incentive-based deal based upon his career accomplishments in Pittsburgh to serve as the full-time backup to Mendenhall. Parker could just as easily try moving on to look for a bigger role.

    Other Notable Free Agents:

    Kenneth Darby, St. Louis Rams (27)
    Kevin Faulk, New England Patriots (34)
    Jerome Harrison, Cleveland Browns (27)
    Le’Ron McClain, Baltimore Ravens (25) – Restricted FA
    Adrian Peterson, Chicago Bears (31)
    Kolby Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (25) – Restricted FA
    Jason Snelling, Atlanta Falcons (26) – Restricted FA
    DeShawn Wynn, Green Bay Packers (26) – Restricted FA
    Justin Griffith, Seattle Seahawks (30) – Fullback
    John Kuhn, Green Bay Packers (27) – Fullback
    Tony Richardson, New York Jets (38) – Fullback
    Naufahu Tahi, Minnesota Vikings (28) – Fullback
    Mike Tolbert, San Diego Chargers (24) – Fullback – Exclusive Rights FA
    Leonard Weaver, Philadelphia Eagles (27) – Fullback
  2. scratchnz
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    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Miami needs a OLB, maybe we could engineer a deal that sees Shawne Merriman swapped for Ronnie Brown!

    What about Cadillac Williams?
  3. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    I'd take Brown for Merrman in a heartbeat:tup:

    I don't think AJ would give up anything for a guy who's as injury prone as Cadillac.
  4. DenverBolt67
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    DenverBolt67 BoltTalker

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    The last time AJ brought in a quality FA was in 04 when he went and got Goff, Foley, and Godfrey. Why would people think he is going to get a FA RB this year?
  5. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Why would the Dolphins make that pick? Seriously


    Ironically the only one out of this group that might be good for our style is Lendale White. Big bruising between the tackles kind of runner. Pair him up with a Sproles or a quicker back and you've got a good one-two punch.

    That's provided he hasn't eaten himself stupid yet
  6. scratchnz
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    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Lendale White would be an interesting pick of FA running backs...your logic is impeccable, but I would rather have Jerome Harrison or Le'ron McClain from Baltimore who I think are free agents this year.

    McClain would be an awesome power-runner to pair with sproles IMO. What would it take to get him thou? maybe not as much as people think as the Ravens already have Rice and McGahee
  7. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Lets not forget we also still have CJ brinkley who has been spending the last year working out and rehabbing from the gun shot wounds.
  8. ChargerRay
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    ChargerRay Producer/Host of BoltTalk Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    That's right. Hope he's made a full recover by training camp.
  9. Sydalish
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    Sydalish Addicted to Sports

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    Ditto - I'm really excited to see what he can do. He's a good kid.
  10. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    I'd no more put all my eggs in that basket then I would pass on drafting a nose tackle solely believing Vaughn Martin will be able to immediately be a great new nose tackle.
  11. scratchnz
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    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Amen to that:tup:

    By drafting a running back and Nose tackle early we give debth to need positions and also it might light a fire under the butts of players like Vaughn Martin and CJ Brinkly, sproles etc... to keep performing to keep their places on the team!

    I worry about the quality of the running backs this year...there are probably only 3-4 worth drafting at all...lets hope that one of the better ones falls to us (without having to trade up, as none of them are worth it IMO) at 28!
  12. matilack
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    matilack #therealagent47

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    The Dolphins are probably the most likely team in the league to pick off one of our RFA's.

    Merriman- They run a 3-4 defense, Joey Porter is washed up and Jason Taylor is getting old and doesn't fit well in that scheme. Merriman would fit as both a pass rusher and a firery defensive leader.
    Jackson- For obvious reasons, they need WR's.
    Floyd- Same reasons, big endzone target for Chad Henne.
    Sproles- Nice fit for their wildcat offense, this is Ricky Williams last year.


    Of course they wouldn't give up Ronnie Brown, but I wouldn't be shocked if we ended up with a couple of their picks come April.
  13. scratchnz
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    scratchnz BoltTalker

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    Considering that Running backs usually have a shorter lifespan and dominent pass rushers are not that common...I fair deal would be to Swap 1st round draft picks as well as Merriman and Ronnie Brown.

    I don't like that trade at all! but considering our history dealing with Miami and the needs of both teams...I don't think it is an imposibility
  14. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I can give you suggestions on where to place your eggs if you like. (Edit, sorry I forgot the smilie) :D

    the fact is we have a RB that has been successful at every level he has played at on rosters. There is no need, especailly given the RB un-friendly scheme Turner employs to go out and start drafting RBs willy nilly.
  15. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    Jerome Harrison could be a sleeper.
  16. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    And you can put them in the same location :lol:

    They all have been successful at every level, that's why they were in the draft. Rarely do you find drafted or even undrafted players that weren't a success at every level they've been in. So that should not be the basis for just assuming that Brinkley could be an NFL caliber running back
  17. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I see, it is better to assume that they are not. I mean AJ has missed on soo many picks, that is an understandable position for your to take... :unsure:

    I am not saying that the Chargers should not consider taking an RB in the draft, but CJ will get his shot. I have high hopes for him, his presence should factor into any discussion on the number and timing of any picks by the Chargers.
  18. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    If we were to assume that non drafted free agents could immediately fill in starting roles then there wouldn't need to be a draft. Brinkley wasn't a draft pick but a guy you take a flyer on as a UDFA. AJ sure as heck has been successful with DRAFT PICKS and even with UDFAs but it's a mighty big stretch to assume that a UDFA recovering from gun shot wounds can be the starting running back. Or are you making the same assumption that Demitrius Byrd can take over for Vincent Jackson? How about starting tackle Corey Clark?
  19. HollywoodLeo
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    HollywoodLeo Trevor Phillips Enterprises

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    It's not about assuming he'll fail, it's about increasing our options.

    It's better to have too many good players at one position than not enough.
  20. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Wow... Stop and do a cranial, rectal inversion for a moment ant... No one is assuming anything but you. If your hackles are up because I mention that we still have this kid and it should be considered, well tough luck.

    I am hopeful for Byrd, and Clark. I have watched game footage of CJ, and yes I think he has a chance of making an impact. Given AJ's ability to find a diamond in the rough I feel comfortable saying he has a chance.

    So when your done trying to put words in my mouth, we can talk. :lol:
  21. AnteaterCharger
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    AnteaterCharger Calibrating Bolttalk, Podcast by Podcast Staff Member Super Moderator Podcaster

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    Your still assuming that because he's on the roster and because he was successful in the past and because he's healthy that he should be considered for a starting job. Those are alot of very VERY big assumptions.

    CONC: the fact is we have a RB that has been successful at every level he has played at on rosters. There is no need, especailly given the RB un-friendly scheme Turner employs to go out and start drafting RBs willy nilly.

    No one is suggesting we do what Denver did last off-season and grab half a dozen running backs + draft one. That's ridiculous. But I do think there's a specific type of back needed not only for the 'unfriendly scheme' but also based on who we have left at RB (sproles). And that is a power back, someone who can get tough yards in hte middle.


    I'm not against the idea of including Brinkley in the discussion but I don't expect much from him and furthermore if there's a back who meets our needs who is out there I say go get him. Brinkley should not limit our desire to get a running back that would make an impact in this system. That's all I've been saying
  22. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    Loren tell me why he should not have an opportunity to earn a starting spot? Can you? Dazzel me whith your wisdom, pahlease....

    You seem to be getting hot under the collar at the mention of Brinkley. Get over it already.

    He WILL have the ability to earn a roster spot. Sproles has shown little interest in remaining a Charger, LT may or may not be here. The Chargers might look at an RB in a draft class that has little to like there. AJ will not go after a big name back in free agency, so Brinkley is part of the equation regardless of if you like it or not, or cant wrap your mind around the concept.

    Saying he will have a chance to earn a spot is not saying he will be handed a spot. So stop making ***UMPTIONS as to what I am saying.

    Clear?
  23. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I agree, nor have I ever argued differently. But this draft class does not turn a lot of heads in regards to RBs in my honest opinion.
  24. IFiredCHart
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    IFiredCHart Well-Known Member

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    I agree, but there is depth and value to be had in terms of power backs with players like Matthews and Gerhart projected to go in Round 3. If a pick like this does not pan out, it would be like giving up a R3 pick in the past with Waters and Whitehurst, and both of those drafts were not tarnished as a result.

    I believe that we do need to look at RB talent from a value standpoint in this draft, but we do not need to trade up for someone like Spiller is the point that I think Conc is trying to make.
  25. Concudan
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    Concudan Caffeinated Commando

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    I didnt say it better myself... :tup:

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